Politics

Kasich Wants to Dismantle Commerce Department

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Gov. John Kasich, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, today outlined his proposal to shut down the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The governor’s plan for what he characterized as a “Franken-agency” would serve as a “template for how he would shrink, consolidate and improve other federal agencies in order to balance the budget in eight years and take our power, money and influence back to our states and communities,” his campaign said ithis morning.

“Commerce is a case study in Washington dysfunction.  It’s like a basement that politicians keep stuffing pet projects into and it never gets cleaned out,” Kasich said in a prepared statement.

The governor is campaigning in Iowa today.

Kasich would “break it up, put the pieces we need in the right places, send other pieces back to the states and simply stop doing those things that aren’t needed. Americans would save money and it would send a huge signal to Washington that business as usual is over,” he said.

Agencies under the Commerce Department umbrella include Economic Development Administration, which is headed by Assistant Secretary of Commerce Jay Williams, a former Youngstown mayor.

Among the tenets of Kasich’s plan are consolidating natural resources agencies at the Department of the Interior; shifting trade promotion and trade violation enforcement to the State Department and International Trade Commission, respectively; and consolidating the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis with the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The Department of Commerce economic development grant programs, which Kasich contends are “similar to those in state governments and the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” would be reviewed for duplication and then transferred to HUD where they would be returned to states and communities in large flexible block grants.”  Trade adjustment efforts could be transferred to the Department of Labor, he said.

The Kasich campaign estimates that for every 1 percentage point of reduced spending, approximately $1 billion would be saved over 10 years.

Other details of Kasich’s outline for eliminating the Commerce Department can be found here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.